We live in a quiet city street, a no-through road. The Weaver’s cottage stands alone in a sea of offices and sheltered housing schemes; worker bees and old folk live in perfect harmony. We get footfall but very little traffic. Then one day, the peace was breached by a pincer movement of mechanical cherry pickers – one at the rear and one at the front. What a bleedin’ racket. I was being picked at from both ends. It went on for hours. One wrong swipe and I would have tumbled out into the street in my jim-jams. I’d no idea what they were doing. The cages just seemed to go up and down, up and down, like a really boring fairground ride (or any boring ride, come to that). The big red bugger up front was only temporarily silenced when it ran out of petrol. A bit careless of the driver, I thought. How’s a penniless author supposed to write a masterpiece with that hullabaloo going on?